ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A group of Minnesota lawmakers wants to change a state child protection system they say has strayed from always putting kids' safety first.

Two Democrats and two Republicans want to give more information on abuse reports to county child protection workers and law enforcement. They've introduced bills in the House and Senate to do so.

The lawmakers say the current system puts too much emphasis on keeping families together. They say that sometimes isn't in a child's best interest.

The bills would make past reports of abuse available to county workers deciding whether to investigate new ones. State law currently bars child protection workers from considering those reports.

The legislators serve on a task force Governor Mark Dayton created after bureaucratic failures in the death of a 4-year-old boy.


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Representatives of Minnesota's child care industry say a push to fund all-day preschool will make their services more expensive.

Senate Democrats want to set aside money for statewide preschool programs starting with the 2015 school year. It's estimated doing so would cost the state about $170 million that year.

Enrollment in the free programs would be voluntary. But the child care industry says they would siphon 4-year-olds out of the roughly 9,700 licensed child care programs across the state.

Child care providers say that would force them to raise rates for younger children.

A Senate education finance committee heard the universal preschool bill Wednesday but did not take any action.

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